Every year in late August, the Icelandic capital celebrates its annual Reykjavik Culture Night (Menningarnott) – a name that hardly gives the all-day-and-all-night party the credit it deserves.
Culture Night always takes place on a Saturday and those looking to visit Iceland will be interested to know it falls on the 22 August this year. Culture Night is officially a celebration of the anniversary of the City of Reykjavik and has evolved into a massive cultural event with more to do than can ever be done (excuse the irrelevant Lion King quote).
It has also become a pleasant new convention over recent years to hold the Reykjavik Marathon on the same day, providing an energetic early unofficial start to the Culture Night day (so to speak) and giving marathon runners from all over the world an array of exciting options for rewarding themselves post-race.
Reykjavik Culture Night is the ideal time for a holiday in Iceland because the streets are thronged with performers, there are dance and music shows and all the museums and galleries stay open late with their biggest and best exhibitions of the year.
In fact, there is hardly a shop, bar, restaurant, museum, gallery or “other” that doesn’t make some sort of effort for Culture Night.
The night officially ends with one of the longest and most impressive fireworks displays in Europe; but after the young families head home, the bars and clubs stay open and keep the party spirit going all night.
Each year Menningarnott has a different theme; and this year focuses on ‘The Houses in the Town’ with tours, performances, exhibitions and other events to show off the variety in the city’s housing and the houses’ life and soul.
Iceland vacations are at their most popular during August with the Merchants’ Weekend festivals, Gay Pride and Culture Night all adding extra intrigue over and above the country’s stunning scenery, clean air and long, bright summer days.